Hello, Prince Edward County!
I’ll be making my way southwestward next Tuesday to meet with elementary students in Wellington and Picton, Ontario. At the invitation of the Rotary Club of Wellington and the County of Prince Edward Public Library & Archives, I’ll be helping the county celebrate Rotary Literacy Month.
Having been raised in Kingston, Ontario, you’d think I’d have visited Picton and Wellington a dozen times but no, this will be my first time there. I’ve passed through the area en route to Sandbanks Provincial Park with my family as a kid, and it’s possible we stopped in Picton for gas or camping supplies, but I probably had to stay in the car.
All I remember about those trips to Sandbanks is the Daisy May Sweet Shop where I first tried banana chips, a food I find repulsive yet attractive (“I’ll just try one…ew…maybe I’ll try one more…ew.”). I’m sure the shop had better sweets than banana chips (or else we wouldn’t have stopped there), but alas I will never know. Either the shop went out of business during recent decades or it never existed except in my imagination. Either way, it can’t be found online this afternoon.
But enough about candy. Back to books…
I’ll visit with CML Snider Elementary School students in Wellington, Ontario, on the morning of March 24th. The school’s “Growing with Character” theme for March is Humour, and I intend to bring some of that with me. In the afternoon I’ll be at the Picton branch of the County Library, offering young readers “10 Tips for a Fearless Writing Life.” I’ll tell them everything I’ve learned about becoming an author, summed up in one hour and accompanied by phobia fun facts, grammar tips from Yoda, and a reading in a devil voice. Plus cute cat pictures.
The morning session is full and space is limited in the afternoon, but if you are in the Picton area next Tuesday, you or your class might be able to squeeze in. Visit the library website for more information on this and other upcoming events.
After my talks, I’ll meet with local radio host Lynn Pickering to talk about books and cats in an interview for the community radio program, “The County Writes…The County Reads,” aired on 99.3 FM at noon on Sundays. I’ll post a link to the broadcast here (unless I make a complete fool of myself, in which case I’ll deny that it’s me speaking).
Until then, Happy Spring! And Happy World Storytelling Day! The theme for this year’s international storytelling celebration is “Wishes.” So lend your ear or your tongue to a tale about wishes. Gather your kids, your parents, your friends, your family, and retell an old tale – from Aladdin to the Monkey’s Paw – or make up a new one. (Once upon a time there was a little girl who wished for banana chips but then she tasted one and asked, “Why would anyone do this to a banana?” The end.)
That’s it for this Friday. If anyone can verify that there was ever a Daisy May Sweet Shop somewhere between Kingston and Sandbanks about thirty-five years ago, I’d love to hear from you.
And many thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts and the Quebec Writers’ Federation for financial support that allows writers to give presentations to readers around the country.